ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA presidential hopeful Michel Platini has not secured the formal backing of the CONCACAF region, the head of the influential Caribbean Football Union (CFU) said on Thursday suggesting the claim was “just politics”.
CONCACAF has 35 votes in February’s election to replace outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter and while there have been some media reports that the governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean has backed Platini, CFU president Gordon Derrick told Reuters that is not the case. “I know that no-one has spoken to us collectively, we haven’t had a collective meeting, there is no way anybody can have (promised) anything,” said Derrick by telephone from Antigua.
The CFU has 25 of the 35 votes from CONCACAF and was a stronghold of support for Blatter.
Sources close to Platini suggested last week that the Frenchman had secured backing from four of the six confederations but Derrick was skeptical about how much real support had been declared at this stage. “I think it is just politics, people are trying to create an atmosphere. If they can create an atmosphere, a perception, sometimes perception becomes reality and you run with that,” he said. With CONCACAF currently having a temporary leadership in place, following the arrest of president Jeffrey Webb on several corruption charges, talk of the organization backing any candidate at this stage is wide of the mark, said Derrick.
“No-one has spoken officially to any of us at CONCACAF, I’m not certain where that is coming from. We have had no official word from anyone on anything to be honest. I think it is a bit premature.
“I think it is a bit fast, a bit too early. I think everyone is waiting to see who the candidates are and what their programs are,” he said.
Platini, publicly backed by the English, Italian and German FA chiefs, and South Korean Chung Mong-joon have declared their intention to stand along with former Brazil great Zico and Liberian FA president Musa Bility.
Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan is also considering running again after losing to Blatter in the May vote.
But Derrick said his members would need time to examine the various manifestos of the candidates after they are formally announced following the nomination deadline in October.
“I don’t think much real discussion is going to happen in this region until after October 26 when everyone knows who is running and what their programs are. It is not just a popularity contest,” he said.
Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Ken Ferris